Adlan Mansri March 26 2017 Berlin’s Alternative Porn Actors Reveal All: Part 1 In defiance to mainstream and heteronormative pornography, Berlin’s porn actors are at the vanguard of feminist, queer and alternative sexual expression. Right now, the porn industry in Berlin is in the middle of a transformation. In opposition to the heteronormative and sexist nature of mainstream porn, the community is responding to greater demand for alternative, queer and feminist porn. Read next: Berlin’s Alternative Porn Actors Reveal All: Part 2 From those who know it best, here is the first of two parts of interviews featuring Berlin’s professional and amateur alternative performers. Paulita Pappel © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Can you introduce yourself in 140 characters? I’m Paulita Pappel. Filmmaker. Pornographer. Feminist. Lover. How did you end up working in the porn industry? I’ve been fascinated by the concept of pornography since an early age. I used to tell my friends I would grow up to be a porn star, but I was ashamed and I fought with an internal conflict. I believed that pornography and sex work were tools of the patriarchy to oppress women. I do porn as part of my political practice to reclaim my own body and sexuality Then I learned about feminist pornography, and I joined queer feminists in their endeavour to create images with different bodies, sex practices and identities. And I loved it. What is porn for you? And what does it mean “doing porn”? Porn for me is any imagery that represents sexuality. I understand both sexuality and pornography in its widest sense: it could be a film documentary on a certain fetish or a picture of a finger penetrating a kiwi. I do porn as part of my political practice to reclaim my own body and sexuality, and to fight against a sex-negative society. And I do so by getting naked or letting other people get naked in front of a camera. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE From your point of view, what have the Tubes (Youporn, Redtube, Pornhub…) done to porn ? What has changed with them? The Tubes have oversaturated the porn market, bringing a very narrow and invasive view on sexuality into the industry. They show a very limited and normative representation of sexual acts and bodies, and since they are so big they limit the access to a diverse and healthy pornography for many consumers. Do you watch porn? LOL. Yes, but mostly for research and curating reasons. Is it important for you to pay for the porn that you watch? Absolutely. The only way to support alternative pornography at the moment is by paying for it. I buy DVDs and support crowdfundings from pornographers whose work I like. Is porn in Berlin different than in other cities? What is different here that you don’t find anywhere else? I’m not very familiar with other porn scenes, so I’m not sure, but Berlin definitely has a big crowd of curious people searching for new experiences and sexually open-minded media. I think that’s why there is so much alternative, DIY porn being produced here in Berlin. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Is porn for you work just like any other work? Yes, with the difference that many people do not approve of it or have the urge to judge me for it. How do you think, or hope, that sex work will evolve in the next few years? I very much hope that a sexual educational revolution will take place, where people will learn to accept sex as a part of human life and stop shaming others for their sex lives, whatever that might be, and of course including sex work. I’m unfortunately not confident that this will happen, but I think a greater number of people are more respectful towards sex workers than some years ago. What are your expectations for 2017? Get 5,000 followers on twitter. Bishop Black © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Can you introduce yourself in 140 characters? I’m Bishop Black, a performer and actor of sorts. I have been working in porn on and off for about eight years. I have a background in performance art and contemporary dance. I also sing. How did you end up working in the porn industry? The first job I did was when I was 23. I think it was a Craigslist advertisement. It was for gay porn of a BDSM flavour. I found it interesting and decided to give it a go. That was in London. It becomes an exploration for me, to understand myself more I didn’t do anything else until I moved to Berlin and worked with Cazzo films, and through meeting people, ended up working with more indie companies. What does porn mean for you? What does it mean “doing porn”? Porn was a way to make money—initially. And then I started questioning what drew me into that world and how that affected the way I see sex. I like being an exhibitionist, for sure. But then there will be a time when someone will come to you in a bar and say that they saw you on some tube site doing something that you did five years ago and I started to think of how I would like to be seen and why. I don’t really come with a character already made for porn, so a lot of the times, it is just me up there. So it becomes an exploration for me, to understand myself more and find out what things work and what doesn’t. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE From your point of view, what have the Tubes done to porn? What has changed with them? The Tubes have made it easier to make and show porn as well as to find it. An evolution of that are the pin sites modelled off of pinterest, which include the gifs. It is kinda like the whole gin rush in London. Some of it is good, some of it is bad and some will just kill you. (Ok, exaggeration.) But they have definitely affected the porn economy and influenced people in a way that can be negative, sometimes ignoring the issues of consent and pushing things to an extreme, like enforcing rape culture, etc. Also the fixed camera/low quality cameras can be drab. And the anonymity of the performers puts up a wall and makes it dehumanizing. Not to sound so hippie, but to watch porn is a sacred act. You are essentially jacking off to someone doing something very intimate with themselves and/or with someone else. And for that reason a bond is connected. Do you watch porn? Yes. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Is it important for you to pay for the porn that you watch? Sometimes you don’t always have the money to pay for porn. But it does change the value of the product from the way it is filmed, to the content. Is porn in Berlin different than in other cities? What is different here that you don’t find anywhere else? Well there definitely is a better sense of freedom in Berlin than in London at the moment, with the pornography laws that have been put into play. I think somewhere like Barcelona does have a difference to Berlin in that, perhaps more things are accepted, (just a guess, do not actually know how true that is) with Erika Lust being the spearhead of beautifully shot films with a focus on making work from a female perspective. I still think that Berlin has an amazing burgeoning indie scene however and I’m very glad to be a part of the conscious porn movement. Is porn for you work like any other work? Yes, I think that porn work is no different than working in hospitality or in an office. We use our minds and bodies for companies for however many hours a day, however many days a week and we get paid for it. Porn to me is a job, only I find more joy in the projects I do when I do porn than working behind a bar. How do you think, or hope, that sex work will evolve in the next years? I would hope that there would be more protection and support for sex workers, not just on screen, but off as well. I think the stigma of porn has been and will be continuing to wane, but I do believe that other sectors of sex work also need to lose the stigma and for that to happen, there needs to be education and support. People are finding tube sites more and more a turn off and looking to more clever and stimulating forms of porn and are finding it with Pink and White productions, Pandora Blake, Lucie Blush, Ersties, Inside Flesh, to name a few. And with the movement of conscious porn, be it either queer, alternative, feminist or all of the above, I believe the understanding of Porn will change. Jack © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Can you introduce yourself in 140 characters? I’m Jack. Cryptographer by day. Activist by night. Pornographer by even later night. How did you end up working in the porn industry? When I was living in San Francisco, one of my housemates told me she used to work for Kink.com. I’d always been somewhat curious about doing porn, and not even in the adolescent way of “how could would it be to get paid to fuck tons of hot girls.” I was fairly open about my sex life and shameless in general. Just like romantic comedies give people the wrong idea about what relationships are like, I think the tube sites promote sex in a similarly misrepresented way We started dating, and I invited her to join me when I moved to Berlin. After we got settled in our new flat, we started camming together, partly for fun and partly to cover rent. What does porn mean for you? What does it mean “doing porn”? Porn to me is amorphous the way art is. What is art to some people might not be to others. I like to be broad in my description of art, and likewise broad in my description of porn. If it makes you feel something primal or it makes you feel desire, it’s porn. For example, there’s videos out there of women trying on shoes that I would classify as porn in that some find such a thing erotic and arousing. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE From your point of view, what have the Tubes done to porn? What has changed with them? I’m not much of a fan of the tube site. I regard them with the same attitude I regard most TV and movies: mass produced, relatively uninteresting, and something that when viewed leaves lingering misconceptions. I used to get most of my porn from them growing up, and I definitely have some latent complexes about my own sexuality and that of my partners. Just like romantic comedies give people the wrong idea about what relationships are like, I think the tube sites tend to promote sex in a similarly misrepresented way. That said, I think they do provide a way for people to explore what arouses them in a low risk environment. There’s definitely sex acts I only really found out via the tubs sites and then went on to track it down elsewhere. Do you watch porn? I used to, but not as much any more. Honestly, I’m usually too busy fucking my partner to bother with it. Is it important for you to pay for the porn that you watch? If I was watching more porn, I’d like to put the energy into finding people who make interesting porn and pay for it. I think it’s good to support independent creators, especially since I think there needs to be indie porn to stand in opposition to the very bland mass produced flicks. Is porn for you work like any other work? Making porn is closer to a hobby for me. It’s fun, and I enjoy it, but it’s not my life’s passion. I like contributing towards indie, feminist, and queer porn, and I hope to continue doing porn in that capacity. However, I have other priorities and tend to focus my time elsewhere. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE How do you think, or hope, that sex work will evolve in the next few years? I like the general trend of normalization that seems to be happening. In a conversation with friends recently, someone asked me when I thought sex work would be fully normalized, and I said when a politician’s son or daughter could be an active sex worker, and nobody would bat an eye. We’re a long way from that, but I think that’s a worthwhile goal. Whether or not I have suggestions or concrete plans for how to make it happen is another story. What are your expectations for 2017? I’ve had some ideas for some porn I want to make, but I’m not a good enough videographer to make it happen myself, so I hope I can find some people to collaborate with and see if we can make anything happen. That, and appear in a few more films here and there. Jasko Fide © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Can you introduce yourself in 140 characters please? I’m Jasko Fide, a queer feminist porn performer. I’m exploring myself through and with porn and try to authentically share lust to add to the variety of the porn world. How did you end up working in the porn industry? I was drawn to perform for Goodyn Green when I heard that she was searching for performers. I guess I then had some kind of black out while my subconscious wrote her because as a rather shy person, I never saw this coming before. What does porn mean for you? What does it mean “doing porn”? For me doing porn is a feminist act of raising awareness that there are all different kinds of genders, body types and sex acts that most of us don’t know from mainstream porn. Apart from that it’s empowering, hot and important. It frees me. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE From your point of view, what have the Tubes done to porn? What has changed with it? Mainstream Pornography is super easy to access through these channels. It might be nice for those who can put things they see in a context but when I think of young people or children even, I think that this can be really damaging. Most mainstream pornography presents stereotypical roles, bodies and sex acts, sometimes without any signs of consent. It’s empowering, hot and important. It frees me It puts females and males in very typical positions, meaning the power dynamic of the dominating male and the submissive, object-like female. Young people think that what they see has to be it – that is the right way to have the right sex! It influences them in how they see themselves or the other person and I believe it blocks their own sexual exploring. Do you watch porn? Most certainly I do. © Adlan Mansri/HEREYOUARE Is it important for you to pay for the porn that you watch? Yes. Pay for your porn. Is porn in Berlin different than in other cities? What is different here that you don’t find anywhere else? I can not really compare since I never lived in another european main city but from what I observe is that Berlin has quite a growing scene when it comes to alt porn/queer porn. I still wish there was more so obviously I should at least travel a bit more! Is porn for you a work like any other work? Shooting porn definitely is a very conscious act in which I give a lot of myself and make myself vulnerable to an audience that I can not control. Still it is very similar in my approach to the work I do besides sex work. How do you think, or hope, that sex work will evolve in the next years? Becoming more accepted and appreciated. I hope our society starts really listening to what sex workers really want instead of just creating rules that are no good for no one. What are your expectations for 2017? More amazing shootings! My list of crushes on directors and performers is long. This article has been edited for clarity and conciseness Adlan Mansri is a young Berlin based photographer. Through his lenses, he brings his sight of the world and the humans he meets with a reporter's eye. Twitter Instagram See all articles berlin Discover all places in this city Related Articles:Exploration Destination: Berlin’s Abandoned Water Park…Submit to Your Kinks at NYC’s Queer Sex PartiesLGBT+ in Paris: Three Campaigners Tell Their Stories Damlasu Çeşmeci How can I find and watch you Jack? Billy Lots of people who think being gay or queer is somehow special. Its not. Its all just fucking. Get over yourselves.